Impact of Diabetes on Oral Health

Impact of Diabetes on Oral Health

Posted by NATURAL SMILES on Apr 5 2023, 08:30 AM

Impact of Diabetes on Oral Health

Diabetes is a medical condition that affects your body’s ability to process sugar. While most people are familiar with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, there are actually four different types—each of which has a different impact on your oral health in particular.

Type 1 diabetes most often impacts children and young adults, while type 2 diabetes typically affects older adults. Both types can bring about dry mouth, which can cause tooth decay if not managed properly.

Gestational diabetes generally goes away after pregnancy but can lead to gum disease and tooth decay in the mother during and after pregnancy because of the increased levels of hormones in the body.

The least common type of diabetes, known as MODY, usually comes with no symptoms at all, though it can lead to problems with teeth and gum health later in life. This type is genetic and not linked to lifestyle factors, so those with a family history of the disease may be more likely to develop it themselves.

No matter which type of diabetes you may have, it’s important to practice good oral health habits. Brushing and flossing regularly is important for everyone, but if you have diabetes, you may need to also visit your dentist more often to prevent complications like periodontal disease.

For diabetics who experience dry mouth, use an artificial saliva product as needed and drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. Also, make sure to brush your tongue gently to remove bacteria from your mouth that can cause bad breath. They also are at higher risk for developing gum disease because diabetes impacts the blood vessels, making it harder to fight infection. Diabetics are also more likely to suffer from thrush, a type of fungal infection. This can cause redness in the oral cavity.

If you are diabetic, you should visit your dentist at least twice per year for cleanings and exams. You may need to see the dentist more often, depending on any other health issues or medication that you may be taking. If you have diabetes, you can still maintain good oral health by following these recommendations, working with your healthcare team to maintain proper control of your diabetes, and seeing a dentist regularly. 

For personalized dental care for patients, schedule an appointment at Natural Smiles Dental Center by calling (703) 595-4405 or visiting us at 1800 Michael Faraday Dr. STE 205, Reston, VA 20190.

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